5 Fun Ideas for Pretend Play
Pretend play is a wonderful activity to do with your toddler, as it encourages their imagination as well as teaches them valuable social skills. The possibilities for pretend play are endless, they are sure to delight the toddler-aged child, and they are free!
Playing restaurant is a great way to teach your child communication skills as the parent and child can take turns being the server and being the customer. It is also a great way to teach manners, such as saying, “please” and “thank you.” Toddlers love being able to make their own choices, so letting them order off a pretend menu is a great chance for them to do so. It is also an opportunity to discuss healthy foods and why eating a variety of foods is important. You can even print out paper menus to use in your restaurant, here, which you can color together for an added activity.
2) Grocery Store
Playing grocery store is another fun scenario that teaches communication skills as well as counting (paying and making change) and can be another great way to talk about healthy foods and nutrition. You can use play food if you have it, or else, you can use empty cereal and snack boxes as well as empty milk and egg containers, and paper grocery bags from the store. Your toddler will love to pack and unpack the paper bags with stuff!
3) Vet’s Office
Toddlers love caring games, such as pretending to wash, care for and tend to imaginary pets (stuffed animals). If you have toy medical set, this is great, but if not, you can use toilet paper for bandages, a real thermometer and empty medicine dropper out of your own cabinet. Pretending to care for pets in need will teach your toddler empathy and compassion for others.
4) Post Office
Help your child to write letters or draw pictures, place them in envelopes and then pretend to mail them in a mail box (a cardboard box is perfect). Talk about who your child would like to send a picture or letter to and let them dictate to you what they would like them to say. For the younger toddler, sending your old junk mail through the mail slot and then picking it up again (and again) for “delivery” is loads of fun! Click here for a great DIY cardboard mailbox as well as other creative uses for recycled cardboard boxes.
Make a tent out of sheets and blankets and pretend to camp out. Talk about what you would need to bring with you, such as a pillows, a flashlight and food. Bring snacks into your tent and have a little picnic. Pretend there is a storm coming and you will have to wait for the rain to stop before you can go back outside. Talk about nature and what sounds you could hear if you were really outside.
Would you like to learn more about our delicious, organic recipes for babies, toddlers and kids? Click here!